Saved at the age of 19, called to preach at the age of 23, and ordained into the Gospel ministry at the age of 26, Mike McCombie has been preaching since 1973. His faithful and loving wife, Wilda, has been serving alongside him for almost all of those years and has played such a vital part in his ministry.
Mike McCombie’s early ministry was as a church planter in the Boston, Massachusetts, area for 15 years. There he planted two churches and pastored a third church. Though the church he pastored was an inner-city work, Brother McCombie led the church into a Faith Promise missions giving program that supported 33 missionaries and projects. He also served 3 years as a professor of missions and Bible at the Heritage Baptist Institute, a ministry of his sending church, the Cleveland Baptist Church, Cleveland, Ohio.
In 1993, at the age of 45, Brother McCombie felt the Lord's call to be a foreign missionary. He was sent out of his home church again and through Baptist International Missions, Inc., to the former communist country of Albania in Eastern Europe. He and his wife served for 12 years and planted the Gospel Baptist Church in Tirana, Albania, and did extensive missions work in the villages and in the neighboring country of Kosovo.
From 2006–2020 the McCombies served as the BIMI Western States Missions Representatives. Brother McCombie assisted hundreds of local churches in the Western United States and Canada with their mission programs and in the calling, equipping, and sending of their missionaries. He has a passion to help equip this generation of pastors, laymen, missionaries, and full-time workers to reach the world with the Gospel through God's plan of church planting and to challenge God's people to become "biblical world Christians." He has been heavily involved in encouraging and counseling future missionaries and local church planting prospects being trained in Bible colleges in the Western States and Western Canada and in assisting deputation and furloughing missionaries in raising their support in a timely fashion.
On September 1, 2020, Mike and Wilda transitioned into the position of Missionary Emeritus after being with BIMI for nearly 27 years. However, they have no intentions of stepping away from the ministry! If the Lord would permit, they would like to continue in the Eastern United States representing missions to churches and helping missionaries get to the field, much as they did in the West. It is still their hearts’ desire to serve the Lord until He comes or until He calls them home. Whether it is to preach a Faith Promise missions conference or a missions emphasis Sunday, or to assist churches in connecting with missionaries to support, or to challenge young people for missions, or to provide pulpit supply, they desire to be a help. Brother McCombie stated, “We do not want to stop the type of mission work we have been doing!”
Mike and Wilda have been blessed with a son and a daughter. Both children are married and serving the Lord with their families in their local churches. Mike and Wilda have been sent out of the Cleveland Baptist Church, Cleveland, Ohio, since 1976. They now live in Greeneville, Tennessee, where they are members of Central Baptist Church.
At the age of 19, I was confronted by a college classmate with the question “Where will you spend eternity when you die?” He also showed me salvation verses from the Bible. Though I did not get saved at that time, I was open to spiritual things. Some months passed when a friend invited me to an independent Baptist church in a small town in Oklahoma. After the third time attending and upon hearing the pastor preach from Romans 3:23, I went forward during the altar call and settled the eternal question. I knew I was saved, and I was scripturally baptized the same day.
Since a state university is not much of a spiritual environment to grow spiritually and I lived nowhere near the church where I had been saved, I received no discipleship training. I soon strayed away into the world’s allurements and companions for four long years. Even after graduating and choosing a career path, I had no peace and spiritual direction, but yearned for it. After being invited to a Bible-believing Baptist church, I was taken under the spiritual “wings” of a faithful and loving pastor, and it was there that I received my spiritual roots and foundation for growth. I knew the Lord was working on me concerning a greater plan for my life, and my pastor sensed it too. One day he asked if I would be willing to accompany him and the youth group to a Bible college for a “College Days” program. I willingly volunteered. It was while I sat in those Bible college classes and chapels that the Lord used the verses from Romans 12:1–2 to call me into full-time service. The next semester I was enrolled in that same Bible college, knowing that the Lord had called me to preach!
I was 23 years of age and time was precious. I needed to know two things from the Lord. Where did He want me to preach? Whom did He want me to marry? The Lord provided the answers to both questions by the second semester of my first year. He wanted me planting churches in and around Boston, Massachusetts, and He wanted me to marry Wilda! We were married that summer. Two years later and just before graduation, God blessed us with a son. Three months later we were planting our first church in Massachusetts, and a few months after that, God blessed us with a daughter. The Lord works quickly when you leave the choices up to Him!
I was not raised in a Christian home, but at the age of 14, I was saved and baptized. This all happened because of a faithful man in my neighborhood who owned a corner store, and he always took the opportunity to witness for Christ. God then began to use a very faithful youth director to guide my life. Being a part of my church became my life. Through the preaching and teaching of our founding pastor, I learned the importance of living a dedicated, separated life and a life filled with service for the Savior.
Then at the age of 21, while I was serving in a Summer Missionary Internship Training for Evangelism (SMITE) Campaign in Canada, the Lord made it very clear to me that though my career in nursing was noble, the Lord was asking me to surrender my life for full-time service. Within a few short weeks, I was attending Bible college and shortly thereafter met Mike and we were married. It was a very short courtship!
I have counted it a great privilege to serve the Lord alongside of Mike all these years. My prayer is that the Lord will continue to bless us with many more wonderful years to serve.
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